Monday, November 2, 2009

Negative Feelings

This is based on a piece of advice that I recently gave a friend.

So often society tells us not to feel or think negative feelings or thoughts. It tells us if we think and feel positively all the time, all our problems will go away. This implies that all our problems are our fault: if we have problems then, society says, we must not be positive enough. So they implicitly say to the man who is blind since birth, "Serves you right!"

There's nothing wrong with these feelings. There is a reason we are capable of such feelings. They tell us that there is something to deal with. I believe that the best way to deal with these feelings is to embrace them and what they are trying to tell us, and then say to them, ”ok, you've done your job," and then let them go. But they won't go until they do their job, which is to tell us something. So the question is, what are these feelings trying to tell you?

A good way to answer that is talk through your feelings. If you feel that you can't talk to anyone, talking to an animal, even if stuffed, may help, or writing about it. This allows you to get the words out so that you can look at them from outside, and clarify your feelings and thoughts. Then, once you have clarified them, you can talk to other people more clearly. They may have ideas that you have not thought of or a fresh perspective. If you just need support, not advice, you might want to tell them right from the start what you need.

And then there is hope, that we can make it through these feelings, and maybe learn from them along the way. Society confuses hope with pretending we are always happy. What is there to hope for if we are perfectly happy?

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

We all know that good times don't last, but the same can be said for negative feelings. When you feel down, it helps when you realize it is only a feeling and feelings change. If you give a lot of thought to the supposed reason for the feeling, you realize that you can change the way you look at things without changing the underlying cause! Remember:
This, too shall pass.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I did mean to sign my name to what I wrote, but hit the wrong button, I guess.
Ingrid

Denise said...

Well said, Ingrid!

moogie said...

I like it!

Lisa K said...

I agree with you, Josh!
I believe it all boils down to attitude.
We ALL get negative feelings once in a while. But if our attitudes stay centered we can do as you spoke of: Looking at the feelings from the outside in. That is a great way to describe it, Josh.
Whether it is on paper or just mentally removing ourselves from the feelings. To look at them objectively and then grasp our positive ATTITUDE to bring us on the other side of those negative feelings.
Thank you, Josh for admitting that negative feelings are real and also showing us what a POSITIVE attitude looks like. You and your Mom are my inspiration!!! Love, Lisa Kidd

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